Xavi claims injured Barcelona star could still travel to Saudi Arabia


LAS PALMAS DE GRAN CANARIA, SPAIN - JANUARY 4: Coach Xavi Hernandez of FC Barcelona consoles Joao Cancelo of FC Barcelona who leaves the pitch with an injury during the LaLiga EA Sports match between Las Palmas v FC Barcelona at the Gran Canaria Stadium on January 4, 2024 in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Spain
Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Barcelona managed to overcome their very first test of 2024 in rather dramatic fashion. The Catalan giants managed to beat Las Palmas away from home with a very tight 2-1 scoreline. Taking away all three points, Barcelona were ecstatic about the result that they managed to fight and win.

However, the win did not come without an unfortunate and untimely sacrifice. In the very early stages of the match, Portuguese fullback Joao Cancelo took a knock and had to go down for treatment. While the player did try to continue staying on the field, he was ultimately unable to do so.

Later, further examinations provided an update about the severity of the injury. As per Barcelona, the problem was with the player’s MCL, which has been strained. Most reports claimed later that his injury will likely keep him sidelined for 2-3 weeks.

As a consequence, this meant that the Portuguese star would likely miss the Spanish Super Cup. However, Barcelona may be in for some good news. Xavi, as per Mundo Deportivo, seems to be much more optimistic about his star fullback’s return.

As per the coach, the player should ‘in principle’ travel with the team to Saudi Arabia. With this information, it becomes clear that the Barcelona coach is hopeful that he will have Cancelo’s services available to him when Barcelona do ultimately head over to Riyadh for the competition.

However, Xavi did mention that it would only be possible if he recovers well and in time:

“Cancelo is not discarded for the Super Cup game. If he recovers well, he will make the list.”

Cancelo’s return would be a massive boost for Barcelona. While he may be on loan from Manchester City, he has already become a great part of Xavi’s Barça. His offensive contributions as a fullback are second to none, and his quality on the ball remains unmatched. Moreover, he can also play on either flank of the defense.

Thus far this season, the Portuguese fullback has already made 22 appearances for Barcelona. Within those appearances, he has contributed three goals and two assists. His future beyond this season remains uncertain for now. However, he still has a lot of time to help out Xavi’s side in order to make that decision easier.

Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun is a life-long fan of FC Barcelona and an avid enjoyer of all things Blaugrana. Having fallen in love with the club for the way they defined football for him, he now spends his time watching games, analyzing the happenings in them, and digesting any and everything related to his beloved Catalan club. He also writes as an author for Barca News Network hoping to deliver the latest updates to his fellow ‘culés’.

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